Facebook hit the stock market this morning at $42.05 a share, sparking debate all across the Internet on how the rest of the day will go. On StockTwits, a social network for the investing community, more than half of today’s conversations are devoted to that very subject. Some of these people might even know what they’re talking about.
StockTwits looks a little like Twitter, but instead of hashtags, the members communicate in dollar signs. Companies can claim their tickers and use them to broadcast official messages. The most popular one today, of course, is $FB.
With 200,000 community members, StockTwits provides a steady stream of news, charts, and ideas related to publicly traded companies as their market share values rise and fall throughout the day. Unlike Twitter, there’s a “pause” button you can hit to stop the stream and focus on the posts you want to see. You can also follow other investors, market professionals, and public companies to get the latest news, or at the very least, hear opinions that seem reasonable or entertaining.
This week Facebook was added to the Social Heat Map, a graph showing which stocks the investors are talking about the most during different time frames, from within the last hour to the last 24 hours. The results are updated in real-time. As of the time of this post, Facebook was the number one company, followed by the gaming company Zynga, which is a significant part of Facebook’s revenue stream; and Apple, which probably made the computers the investors are using to type their responses.
When you click on the squares, you’ll be redirected to a page showing all of the conversations surrounding that company. Some community members say that the company’s public debut is poorly timed with a bad economy in Europe, while others are concerned that Facebook won’t be able to generate enough revenue to provide a good return on their investment. Entrepreneur Elliot Loh wrote, wisely, “Folks already turning cruel on $FB but today’s IPO results won’t be a reflection of public sentiment. Much larger economic forces at work.”
The site is also plugged into a number of financial news outlets whose headlines stream down the side bar as they’re posted online. You can check the current stock price for your favorite company as well. Earlier this morning, FB was still trading at $42.05 per share.
Read commentary from StockTwits executive editor Phil Pearlman on TechCrunch.